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Libations

By Robert Paul.

At first glance, any recipe that includes a savory cole slaw and baked beans cries out for beer, not wine. My preference would be for a beer that is not too heavy and has what, to my taste, is a flavor that works well during the Summer, something like a Blue Moon Belgian wheat beer. It clearly has a citrus component. I would not recommend a summer brew with (sweet) fruit added. Porters and stouts or a Sam Adams’ Lager seem altogether too heavy this time of year although a Corona, with a twist of lime, might do nicely.

But, if you are determined to offer your guest the option wine, the key to a choice lies in the pork chops and the tangy sweetness of the maple-orange glaze.

A Riesling is my first choice. Just as it works well with many Asian fusion dishes, it also pairs with pork in a variety of presentations. Of course, Rieslings are available in a couple of basic formats: the bone-dry minerally Alsatian approach (West of the Rhine) or the somewhat sweeter German product (East of the Rhine). Trimbach, Weinbach, or Zind-Humbrecht consistently produce fine examples of this style.

If you prefer the German style, look for the designation kabinett on the label. It tells you that it was part of the normal harvest, and that it is likely to be low in alcohol and generally food-friendly. Ask a knowledgeable clerk at you local wine shop for a recommendation.

Although there are a number of American (and Australian) producers, few work as hard on their Rieslings as does Chateau Ste. Michelle. They produce about five different Rieslings, one of them their Eroica Riesling, is a collaboration between their chief winemaker Bob Bertheau and Ernst Loosen, who has been making fine Rieslings for a famous Mosel (German) winery for years. Chateau Ste Michelle has some very economical Rieslings for less than $10 that reference “Columbia Valley” on their label, one is listed as “Dry,” the other simply as “Riesling.”

For those who consider white wines as less winely and always try to drink real wine, i.e. “reds,” the best “go-to” or all-purpose wine is probably a cotes du Rhone. One of this most consistent producers of that wine is Guigal.

Whatever you choose, you know that Judi’s brined and glazed pork chops will provide scrumptious fare, which these suggested libations hope to complement.

-Flavors And More Magazine: June 2009

3 Responses to “Libations”

  1. Very Good Post, what do your reader think about jamie oliver? There are some really good jamie oliver inspited recipes mydish. I have also sent this post to my facebook accounts .

  2. I think Jamie Oliver is bold and I applaud his outreach. We are too fat in America- plain and simple- and, starting with our schools things need to change. Why do we feed our young minds such fattening foods- fried chicken nuggets is poisonous and I know we can teach children at a yound age to eat right- children of chefs often eat all their veggies and an amazing abundance of grilled seafood because they are introduced to these foods- not fast food at such a young age.
    Even on a budget- you can buy boneless chicken breasts when they are on sale for $1.99 a pound and freeze them. Children love gardens, even countertop gardens and they love to eat what they grow.
    As a food critic and chef, I eat for a living and eat and eat- but I am a solid size 8 because I watch it on my days at home and don’t ever eat fast food. And yes, I use light cream in my coffee and have a muffin twice a week-
    so, what do all of our reader’s think of Jamie’s plight

  3. Nicole says:

    He’s got a big job on his hands, but I give him credit for fighting for something really important. Starting kids out on the right path by teaching them to prepare healthy meals (at reasonable prices) gives them tools for their future. Even on limited incomes, families can shop and prepare meals that don’t require a huge grocery bill, or a ton of time. It can be done!

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